Oscars 2012: 'Pina,' 'Paradise Lost 3' among documentary nominees
The Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel film "Pina," which uses 3-D technology to explore the artistic universe of the late German avant-garde dance director Pina Bausch, and Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory," about the controversial murder convictions and later release of the so-called West Memphis Three, are among the Oscar nominees for best documentary.
The other nominees are: "Hell and Back Again," by Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner, about the lethal dangers that U.S. troops face in Afghanistan, as well as the difficulties many find in returning home; "If a Tree Falls:" A Story of the Earth Liberation Front," by Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman; and "Undefeated," an uplifting film about an under-resourced urban high school football team, by T.J. Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas.
Among this year's short-list of nominees, the Harry Belafonte documentary "Sing Your Song" earned good notices but didn't make the final cut.
The documentary category is about to undergo major revisions to its rules. Among them is a new requirement that films be reviewed by the Los Angeles Times or New York Times in order to be eligible for Oscar consideration. The rule change is being backed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in an effort to pare down a recent glut in the number of feature films submitted, including many that air on television but may only play in one theater for one week.
-- Reed Johnson
Photo: Dancer Ditta Miranda performs "Vollmond" in the documentary film "Pina" Credit: Donata Wenders / Sundance Selects